PCC, PFHOF to honor Class of 2019

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PFHOF Class of 2019

The Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Class of 2019 will be honored at the Polynesian Cultural Center on January 19, 2019.

As we have since the inaugural Class of 2014, the Polynesian Cultural Center is partnering with the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame on January 19 to honor:

  • The Class of 2019,
  • The 2018 Pro Player of the Year,
  • The 2018 Kupono award for Excellence
  • The 2018 College Football Player of the Year,
  • And the 2018 High School Football Player of the Year.

 

Invitation to attend the 2018 Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony

Come to the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony on January 19th – includes lunch, ceremony and admission a Day Pass to the Center (ticket required – click on image to purchase).

Meet the Class of 2019

After a lengthy selection process, the PFHOF announced its Class of 2019 inductees chosen from a list of 12 finalists. They are (in alphabetical order):

Joe Salave’a (Samoan from Leone, American Samoa), played DL for the University of Arizona, and eight years professionally with the Tennessee Titans, Baltimore Ravens, Los Angeles Chargers and Washington Redskins. (He’s currently the DL coach and assistant head coach at the University of Oregon.)

Dan Saleaumua (Samoan, born in San Diego, CA), played DL at Arizona State and 12 years professionally with the Detroit Lions, Kansas City Chiefs and the Seattle Seahawks. He also coached at Desert Vista High School in Arizona following his NFL career.

Lofa Tatupu (Samoan, born in San Diego, CA), was a linebacker for the University of Southern California before playing 6 years professionally with the Seattle Seahawks.

Marques Tuiasosopo (Samoan, born in Long Beach, CA), was quarterback at the University of Washington, and went on to play eight years professionally for the Oakland Raiders and the New York Jets.

Congratulations to this year’s Polynesian Pro Football Player!

JuJu Smith-Schuster

JuJu Smith-Schuster, a Pittsburgh Steelers WR of Samoan ancestry, is the 2018 Pro Player of the Year.

Pittsburgh Steeler’s wide receiver, Juju,Smith-Schuster has been selected as this year’s 2018 most outstanding professional football player of Polynesian Ancestry. Juju, who was born in California, is a graduate of University of Southern California. He is proud of his Samoan roots, and we are proud that he is such an excellent representative of Polynesia! A commemorative display to Juju will be included inside of the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame. This area, housed in the Welcome Center at the Polynesian Cultural Center, is free to the general public.

Introducing our 2018 Kupono Award for Excellence recipient

Photo of Ka'imi Fairbairn, 2018 Kupono Award for Excellence by the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame

Ka’imi Fairbairn will be honored as the 2018 recipient of the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Kupono Award for Excellence

The Polynesian Football Hall of Fame also announced that Houston Texans Kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn will be honored as the 2018 recipient of the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Kūpono Award for Excellence. Fairbairn led the NFL with 37 field goals made and has set the Texans franchise record for the most field goals in a single season.

The 2018 College Football Player of the Year…

Photo of Alabama Quarterback Tua Tagavailoa, 2018's Polynesian College Player of the Year

Alabama Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has been named the Polynesian College Player of the Year.

…award goes to University of Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, a Samoan from Hawaii who played quarterback for the Hawaii State high school championship St. Louis Crusaders. Tagovailoa led Alabama to a perfect 13-0 season in 2018 and was named runner-up for the Heisman Trophy.

Who will be the 2018 High School Player of the Year?

photo of the five finalists for the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame for 2018.

The five Polynesian high school finalists are proud representatives of their culture and their families

Find out at the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Weekend! The winner will be both announced and honored during the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Celebration Dinner on January 18 at the Sheraton Waikiki, and again at halftime during the Polynesian bowl at the Aloha stadium on January 19.

This year’s finalists include RB George Holani (St. John Bosco High School; Bellflower, California), WR Puka Nacua (Orem High School; Orem, Utah), QB Taulia Tagovailoa (Thompson High School; Alabaster, Alabama), LB Henry To’oto’o (De La Salle High School; Concord, California) and DL Fa’atui Tuitele (St. Louis School; Honolulu, Hawai`i). The Finalists were selected from a Watch List of nearly 50 players.

Meet the players at the PCC

The Polynesian Football Hall of Fame at the Polynesian Cultural Center

A Polynesian Cultural Center honor guard in front of the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame. (PCC photo by Mike Foley)

Football fans will have an opportunity to hear from the players in person at the Polynesian Cultural Center on January 19, 2019 (tickets required) during a special enshrinement program in the Hawaiian Journey Theater.

Further details are still being planned. For more information, call toll-free 800-367-7060 from the U.S. mainland and Canada, or 808-293-3333 or by going to PolynesianFootballHOF.org.

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Mike FoleyStory and photos by Mike Foley, who has been a full-time freelance writer and digital media specialist since 2002. Prior to then, he had a long career in marketing communications, PR, journalism and university education. The Polynesian Cultural Center has used his photos for promotional purposes since the early 1970s. Foley learned to speak fluent Samoan as a Latter-day Saint missionary before moving to Laie in 1967, and he still does. He has traveled extensively over the years throughout Polynesia, other Pacific islands and Asia. Though nearly retired now, Foley continues to contribute to PCC and other media.

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